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Swearing and Cursing

As we're well aware, kids will say just about anything that's on their mind, or even yours, for that matter. As you're rushing to get home and your child is the in back seat, you hit a string of red lights. Think about it, exactly what kind of words come out of your mouth? If you think your child hasn't picked up on this, you're wrong. Just wait until the next play-date with your neighbor's kids, your child might decide to blurt out "the word" in front of everyone.

So…You Swore. Now What?

Everyone has slip-ups, but it's hard to take them back when swearing has become such a part of our daily lives. Young children are apt to pick up on words because, well let's face it, words literally fascinate them. If you have one or two slip-ups that's okay, but you might have to remove the habit of swearing out of your life altogether in order to avoid future blunders.

To prevent your child from continuously repeating "bad words" and swearing or cursing:

  • Never "oh" and "aw" over it. Don't act like your child just did the cutest thing in the world when they say a bad word or else it will inevitably continue. It's like magic, now anytime your child is craving attention they can say the bad word and "poof" you're there.
  • At the same time, never cause a negative scene when you hear the word. Again, anytime your child wants attention they will resort to swearing.
  • Convince your child that the word is not acceptable. If you have to get down to their level, then do it. You can try saying something like, "that word is not accepted by this family."
  • If all else fails, set up a reward system. Encourage the use of other expressive "I" words. "When you did that, I felt …" This will persuade them to use their "big kid" words instead of relying on swear words.

Basically, a young child is swearing because they're looking for a reaction from you, so don't give it to them. Feel free to correct the problem in the above ways but if the use of the word continues try ignoring the behavior by removing yourself from the situation. Tell them you cannot finish your conversation with them if they continue to use that word, and so on. Remember, you may have to eliminate the use of swear words from your own vocabulary to prevent them from becoming part of your child's.